Newspapers (and television channels) pull out all stops for the Budget. Given that general elections happen only once every five years, the presenting of the Union Budget on the last day of February is probably the most important annual event, in terms of coverage, for newspapers—general and business, and English and local languages. Over the years, newspapers have evolved their distinctive styles of covering the budget: with arresting (and sometimes lurid) visuals, and headlines that rhyme.
This year, too, the papers didn’t disappoint on 1 March. One newspaper’s front page portrayed finance minister Chidambaram as Kamadhenu, the mythical cow that can give its owner anything he or she desires. Another portrayed him as a band leader. And the headlines spanned the range from the factual—“Rs 60,000 crore debt write-off” (in Tamil) in ‘Daily Thanthi’—to the doggerel-like—“Hear, hear, hear; the tune of wealth and grains” (it rhymes in the original Hindi in ‘Rajasthan Patrika’).
Mint presents the front pages of the main mainstream and financial dailies as well as those of other papers with the highest readership in the country (according to the Indian Readership Survey).